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Booking Holdings Under Scrutiny and the Rise of AI Trip Planners: This Week in Online Travel

This week features a heavy dose of Booking Holdings’ updates, including updates on the story we featured last week regarding Hungary’s recent decision to launch a formal investigation into the country’s online travel industry.  Enjoy.

    • AI Trip Planners Are Everywhere.  While we all have read stories detailing the major booking platforms’ adoption of generative AI for trip planning (some of those stories have been featured in our weekly Update), smaller AI powered niche planners are now popping up everywhere.  This past week, Skift featured three new planners – Troupe (short term rentals), GenixGPT (“hidden gems”) and JetAI (private plane charters).  What’s obvious is that not all of these planners will make it - fall out is inevitable.  What will be interesting to watch is how many, if any, will be acquired by the major booking platforms.

    •’s Payment Delays – Part II.  Last week we featured a story detailing the decision by the Hungarian competition authority to open an investigation into the country’s online travel booking industry, driven in large part by Hungarian hoteliers’ multiple complaints regarding delayed payments (room rate less commission) via’s payments platform.  Apparently, the problem was a little more widespread than just Hungary (affecting hoteliers throughout Asia), may have dated as far back as April of this year (and continued through the heavy tourist seasons for many) and may have even affected commission payments to members of Booking’s affiliate network (though Booking claims these delays were part of planned maintenance of its systems).  Meanwhile, back in Hungary, Hungarian officials raided the Budapest offices of on Wednesday (September 6) as part of its ongoing industry investigation.   
  • Greg  Duff

    Greg is Chair of the firm's national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism practice, which is directed at the variety of matters faced by hospitality and travel industry members, including purchase and sales agreements, management ...

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About the Editor

Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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